JTA’s Ron Kampeas has a great story detailing the background of Sheldon Adelson’s lawsuit against the National Jewish Democratic Council. Apparently Adelson pushed via intermediaries for the NJDC to apologize for intimating in an online petition that he approved of prostitution. But unlike the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the NJDC refused to apologize to the gambling tycoon and Republican mega-donor.
One of the go-betweens was famed Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, who reached out on Adelson’s behalf to NJDC’s president, David Harris.
Dershowitz, a Democrat who was among the notable Jewish individuals who had called on Harris and NJDC to rescind the petition as soon as it appeared, said Harris’ refusal to apologize disqualifies him to represent Democrats or Jews.
"He is now doing more harm to Democrats and the Jewish community than good. They are willfully spreading a ‘lashon hora’ that they know to be false," Dershowitz said, using the Hebrew term for malicious gossip.
Dershowitz said he could not comment on the freedom of speech merits of the NJDC case because he may be called upon to act as a witness should the lawsuit go to trial.
Organizations associated with Adelson have paid Dershowitz twice: for speaking at the Jewish day school founded by Adelson and his wife, Miriam, in Las Vegas, and as a lawyer helping to represent Adelson’s Venetian casino in its efforts to keep union picketers off sidewalks adjacent to the hotel. The Venetian lost that 2001 case, which Dershowitz said occurred before he met Adelson.
"The work he does for Jewish education is unmatched," Dershowitz said.